I always thought that if I ever got the point of hearing myself saying “When I was young….” it would be time to step off the conveyor. One of my favourite jokes is about a kid who asks his dad “Do parents know more than their kids?” The father replied “Yes”. The kid thought for while and asked “Who invented the steam engine?” The father replied “James Watt.” The kid nodded and asked “Why didn’t his dad invent it then?”
Probably many of you know that joke or a variant. Like all good humour it is funny because it makes a serious point. Mankind is constantly refreshed by youth and fresh eyes. Sadly too often they are born into existing bigotries and the grand tribe of Chief Tendentious. Despite all discouragements, our constant rebirth brings new talent and energy. I always try not to be overtly political but our societies really ought to prioritise the need to give young folk opportunities to show their abilities and earn a good wage.
The reason for this preamble was my chat with Will who did the cover for Freeze Frame. I felt like an old silverback wandering into the room and saying “I want a book cover – here’s the title. See what you can do.”
The rest was done by Will who is a design student. I asked him a couple of questions
Did the concept of Freeze Frame immediately give you an idea?
Yes, and the fact that were several writers gave me the concept more or less at once. At first I played with the idea of picture frames but the film format begged to be done really.
What makes a good book cover?
Ha ha – it depends who you ask or what advice you take. Oscar tells me that poetry lovers don’t mind thinking a bit so I guess you can be a bit more cryptic. A good book cover to me is something that catches my eye because there are so many to choose from. In this case I wanted to get some bold interesting colours to contrast with the black and white. As a designer you are always trying out new pathways.
What technology do you use?
I use photoshop on a Mac but I’m just as happy on a PC.
Did you read the poems?
No, but I listened to them all because I was there when the music track was being added. Audio book construction is pretty cool because it comes together from all kinds of angles. When you hear the tracks you think you sort of know those people.
Were you happy with the finished result?
To be fair I was more nervous than anything. I looked at it and wondered if it was a bit risky because it’s probably a bit busy in pure terms. It’s been great to get good feedback and I can breathe again.
Favourite film? Favourite song today?
Back To The Future. Favourite song would be “Some Nights” by Fun. It is a strange video because it’s about the American civil war. If I get the time I’ll be finding out a bit more about it. I mean, where did that concept come from for music visuals? It’s gonna bug me…..
It’s great to work with young folk. (Said the patronising old fart). These guys have stuff at their fingertips where I don’t have fingers. Will be out of college next year and is up for any offers or work in the meantime via Gallo-Romano.